I never thought we would be a two cat household, but this is Olympia, the cat we’re adopting soon. She’s about 6 or 7 years old, and was rescued from a bingo hall in the Bronx. During her years of living on the street, she gave birth to several litters of kittens, but she’s since been spayed, has had all her shots, is FeLV/FIV negative, etc. However, she suffered from a severe and untreated inner ear infection that was so bad part of the bone and drum had to be surgically removed. Now she walks off-balance with a right head tilt. We’re told she’s litter box-trained, has no problem eating, and is not aggressive. She tolerates touch but is generally afraid of people at the moment.
Her rescuers have had a hard time finding a forever home for her because she’s older and has special needs and, frankly, will probably never be a lap cat. Apparently, she’s been living in a crate for the past three months while she’s waiting to find a home, which means even though she’s not a stray anymore, her quality of life is still compromised. When we heard about her, our hearts went out to her and we gave it some serious thought before deciding to adopt her.
I don’t know how our already-here cat, Galapagos, who is roughly the same age as Olympia, will react to suddenly having to share her kingdom with another cat after so many years of being queen of all she surveys. She did live with other cats as a kitten, but that was a long time ago now. She’s a sweet cat most of the time, but she can be grumpy and prickly, too, in that cat way where if you don’t pet her right or hold your lap properly so she can sit in it she’ll scratch your face off. When I moved in with my wife, Galapagos and I engaged in a territorial battle that lasted a few months. She’s come to accept me now and attacks me a lot less. Will she eventually come to accept a second cat? I hope so. All we can do is introduce them to each other slowly and hope for the best. If it doesn’t work out, the rescuers said we could return Olympia to them after a trial month. I hope we won’t have to.
Any advice from cat owners who have introduced additional cats to their household would be much appreciated. The same with any advice you may have on good cat trees for small apartments. I think Galapagos is going to need something she can sit on top of and definitively call her own.
Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.